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WSUD commissioners approve interlocal agreement, waiting on city
West Sound Utility District commissioners approved an interlocal agreement with the City of Port Orchard for the South Kitsap Water Reclamation Facility (SKWRF).
But a day before the WSUD board met, the Port Orchard city council tabled action until the Feb. 25 meeting on the interlocal agreement.
Plant Manager Randy Screws said commissioners approved the interlocal agreement at its Feb. 12 meeting.
Mike Wilson, general manager for the West Sound Utility District, said the district and the city have worked together for more than 35 years in a partnership in the operation and maintenance of the joint sewer treatment plant in Annapolis.
The current agreement expired more than a year ago and Wilson said both sides have been working on the agreement for about 19 or 20 months.
“I think we are at a point where we are ready to move forward,” Wilson told the council.
Wilson said WSUD provided the council with documents, including property that was acquired in the early 1980s and the two loans by the district for the Public Works Trust Fund paid for with the city.
He said the Sewer Advisory Committee (SAC) met last month and reached a consensus on an agreement that he thought would work for WSUD and the city.
In the final of three agreement revisions, WSUD had concerns about ownership of the property and the Marina pump station.
“The goals of the district and city administration has to do with a lot of issues that are ‘hanging out there’ to be resolved,” Wilson said.
He said the district has three areas of concern — ownership, insurance and the loans — that need to be “cleaned up.”
Concerning ownership, Wilson said over the years both sides — in their financial statements — have agreed to a 50-50 partnership of the facility.
“But there is no agreement that addresses that, only a lot of documents,” Wilson said. “There has been a partnership and an understanding that there is a 50-50 partnership.”
Regarding insurance, Wilson said the city purchases insurance for the property and building, but WSUD and the city jointly purchased insurance on the liability and the content.
“It’s messy and needs to be fixed,” said Wilson. “It should all be purchased together.”
Wilson said WSUD and the city partner in the operation and management of the plant, but the district believes they should have a partnership in the liability.
“For some reason the loans (2000 and 2004) were executed with the Public Works Trust Fund were solely in the name of the city,” said Wilson. “That does not make a lot of sense. It should reflect on both the district and the city.”
Wilson said the Marina pump station is owned and operated by the city. He said when the sewer treatment plant was constructed, there was an agreement with the city for the Marina pump station to be part of the funding of the total treatment plant project.
“The Marina pump station was needed in order for the sewer treatment plant to go forward,” Wilson said.
Councilman Fred Chang said there seems to be a difference of opinion among the city’s Utility Committee members.
“I don’t know where the difference of opinion come from,” Wilson said. “The agreement has been looked over by both the district and city staff.”
Councilman Rob Putaansuu said he was comfortable with the agreement.
“We’ve had 35 years of a great partnership between the district and the city,” Putaansuu said. “I don’t want to see this damage our relationship with them.”
Councilman John Clausen was absent from the meeting.